Just got off the phone with Jason Ebel, one of the two brothers at Two Brothers Brewing (Warrenville, IL, if you get a chance, drink it, great beers). And we're talking, we've talked before, and I say, so, you had a pretty good year last year. Do you do any extreme beers, are they a sideline, or a cornerstone?
Jason laughs, and says, "Aren't you the guy who wrote that piece about extreme beers being boring?"
Ah, yeah, that was me...
"Probably the biggest help to our brand was extreme beers," he said. "We launched a line of 22 oz. bombers of big beers. Not only were they wildly popular, they hyped awareness of all our other beers. People tried the big beers, said wow, and wanted to try the six-pack beers, and suddenly didn't mind paying 8 or 9 bucks for the six-pack."
Really? Well, good for you! Always glad to hear about a brewer doing well...guess there might be something to Sam C's theory about extreme beer driving session beer sales. Takes all kinds.
Don't go sucking up just yet...
In this case it just so happens that the little beers these guys make are good. So there wasn't an adverse reation.
Is there a case where a brewer's BIG beers are WOWs but the regulars are not as much? I'm sure as hell there is (*cough* Weyerbacher *cough*.).
Conversely...know any brewers who make great regulars but come up short (most of the time) with BIG offerings? I know a few.
Stick to your guns Mister!
No sucking up here, just a little tongue in cheek self-deprecation. Because what happened here has happened elsewhere. I talked to Jason about Smuttynose, for instance, which has had a great success establishing their name with the Big Beers, and I think Old Dog and the Lager have done better because of it.
Doesn't mean that session beers don't need more coverage.
Had a pint of their Victor's MemoriAle Altbier in cask conditioned form last week -- was quite tasty, complex without being in-your-face. But it wasn't advertised, and little did I know the brew was 7.8 ABV!!
I don't know that it needed to be so strong, and the cask-conditioning smoothed it out, but made it dangerous.
Wish I'd known, probably wouldn't have ordered the Dragon's Milk as a flollow-up -- gave in to that temptation because it was one of the few "extreme" Imperial Stouts I'd had in the last few years that wasn't just so harsh that I couldn't stomach it.
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